Snowfall update

11:33 a.m. update: City crews are responding to reports of downed trees and branches as quickly as possible. Priority is given to debris that poses a risk to public safety and access. Please do not approach hanging branches that have been cordoned off or have cones around them - they may be unsafe. Debris removal work will likely take several days, and the public's patience is appreciated.

Removal of trees is restricted to public property and those blocking the roads. Private property owners are responsible for removal of their own trees. If you have a tree down or with broken branches, the City recommends you contact a qualified arborist to ensure it does not pose a safety risk to yourself or others.


8:52 a.m. update: At approximately 3:30 a.m., the City of Penticton lost power from FortisBC. This lasted approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, affecting power to roughly 4,000 people concentrated in the Downtown area fed by Westminster Substation. Power was restored to the City around 4:45 a.m.

Electric crews have been working since 3:30 a.m. to clear trees from power lines and restore power to individual homes. This work is expected to continue throughout the day.

Penticton Fire Department has responded to five power line incidents, two motor vehicle accidents and one direct alarm all due to snow.

Public Works continues with snow removal. This is done in a priority system designed to keep the community safe:

  • Priority 1 areas include main collector roads, steep grades, emergency routes and main transit routes, and are serviced to ensure they are open within 12 hours of a storm.
  • Priority 2 areas include secondary collector roads, industrial routes, school zones and minor transit routes, and are serviced to ensure they are opened within 24 hours of a storm ending.
  • Priority 3 areas are residential roads, lanes and walkways, and are opened within 48 hours of the storm ending.

Although snow fall has lessened, Environment Canada's forecast for Penticton is calling for warmer temperatures this afternoon, which could result in rain and melting. With the potential for freezing temperatures over the weekend, City crews are trying to clear storm drains to avoid icy conditions on roads.

Tips for wintery conditions:

  • Drive safe. This means slowing down and being mindful of road conditions. Take extra precautions at intersections and driveways, and when making turns.
  • Winter tires, and having a good set of tires, is important this time of year. Consider winterizing your vehicle and carrying things like a first aid kit, blanket and water in your vehicle - just in case.
  • Shovel snow to the right of your driveway (facing the street). This will help avoid extra snow being deposited in the path of your driveway when the snow plow passes by.
  • Shovelling sidewalks falls under the Good Neighbour Bylaw - implemented to help pedestrians (especially children) safe as they walk.
  • Residents who are able to help by checking and/or clearing storm drains in their neighbourhood are greatly appreciated.
  • Consider being a Snow Angel to your neighbours in Penticton, helping others clear their driveways, sidewalks and access points.


7:20 a.m. update: Snow began to fall in Penticton Tuesday night and through to early Wednesday morning. Snow plows began work at approximately 3 a.m.; due to slick conditions, however, crews had to chain up. This added time to the response. All plows and graders are now in service, actively clearing roads. Main roads have been cleared and crews are focusing on hilly areas of the community.

There are several trees down throughout the community as a result of the snowfall. Crews are trying to clear these up as they go, which can slow the process.

Environment Canada's forecast for Penticton is calling for warmer temperatures this afternoon. This could result in rain and melting. Crews are trying to clear storm drains to prepare for any runoff melting that occurs. Residents who are able to help by checking and/or clearing storm drains in their neighbourhood are greatly appreciated.

The snow has also affected power service. The Westminster Substation was off-line shortly this morning – but has since been repaired and customers are back in service. We are aware of a tree affecting a power line in the Valleyview area. Crews are assessing this now.